The City of the Heart

July 30, 2011
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In the city of Coeur, there was peace and beauty. It was a lovely place, filled with beautiful gardens and grand buildings and parks. All the people lived side by side in happiness, and it was good and beautiful. Coeur was a special place--everyone knew that much.  Nobody was quite sure why it was so lovely there, but everyone wanted to live there--if they could find it.  For Coeur was hidden inside a huge range of mountains, a tiny city dwarfed by the giant grandeur of nature. 

But one day, to this small city of Coeur, there came a traveler.  Although the journey to Coeur was long and difficult, he came looking as if he had simply taken a leisurely stroll.  He wore a mask, and clothing dark as the night. Behind the mask, though, was a handsome face--that much everyone could tell. His genteel manner and kindness to all quickly won over the inhabitants of the city. Why shouldn't this well-mannered traveler live out the rest of his days here, in perfect peace and happiness? 

So he became one of them. Spoke like them, acted like them. But he kept his dark clothes and mask, so that nobody really knew who he was. At first nobody was willing to trust him. They said, "He hides himself with a mask! His clothes are darker than the night! If he does not see fit to share his identity with us, why should we give him our trust?"

But his kind ways eventually won them over. "Perhaps we do not really know who he is, but he is a good man.". They took him as one of their own. 

Time passed. 

One day, he became the mayor of Coeur, the most powerful person in the city. 

But everything changed one night. One night, the city woke up in flames. Bright golden fire, burning all the beautiful buildings and gardens and everything that made Coeur lovely. And the masked mayor was gone, along with everything beautiful in Coeur.  The city was burning, in agony. Surely this must be death, because nothing in life could hurt this much. 

This masked man, the one whom everyone had trusted--he had, in one stroke, destroyed every good thing in Coeur. 

This man, in one stroke, had destroyed the heart of the city. The city of the Heart, ruined by a single man in a single night. 

*Coeur means "heart" in French. 

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